Dr. Balpal Sandhu, the amazing vet from the AV veterinary center was the first person who I called during lockdown as I was in desperate need of some help with my little Maltese dog. I live in an apartment block and there are no public spaces, and given the restriction on going out I really wanted to know how I could keep my dog in shape, and what was the minimum that I would be able to do with the dog without causing him to feel sluggish or put weight on. As always the vet was amazing and these are the tips I have been following during lockdown.
What Goes In
The best tip he gave me was something which I hadn’t even thought about and that was feeding the dog, or more to the point what I was feeding the dog. The doc reminded me that given the fact that the pooch was going to be doing far less exercise than it normally would be, that I would have to ensure that I didn’t overload him with treats, scraps and fatty foods. I have never really thought about the dog’s diet beyond ensuring that he got enough nutrients, but I have taken a very different approach to it during the last 4 months.
I hadn’t even considered the fact that I could use the stairs in the apartment block and they have really become a godsend since we have been in quarantine. Every day the dog and I walk the 21 floors from bottom to top, and we try to do it at least twice. To be completely honest with you I’m pretty sure that in doing this the dog is burning more calories than he normally would when we are not in lockdown, and it is certainly something which I’ll be continuing once all of this is over.
Spotting the Signs
The vet gave me a great piece of advice about spotting the signs of the dog looking to get rid of energy and use that as the time to take him out. We are allowed out for exercise once per day and so what I have been doing is having a little play with the dog at various times during the day and then seeing how much energy he appear to have. This is pretty easy to tell to be honest as they are far more springy and looking to run when they have pent up energy. Once you see them looking to get their energy out, that is the time to get outside and take them for a walk, armed with a ball of something that they can play with as you go.
This is about as much as I have been able to do for the dog, watching his diet and trying my best to play with him as much as possible so that he can get that energy out of him.
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